The Capture of Eagle #K72
by Blanche Towne

When I entered the trap site on February 29, things didn't look good. There was an open channel about 12' across and 5' deep where the net had previously deployed. The recent warm temperatures had caused much of the ice to rot. I looked around the bay and spotted another area which was still visible from the blind and was made up of exposed mud flat and ice. There was open water adjacent to it, but when I paced across the ice, I decided that with a little luck, the rockets would fall about 10'-12' short of the open water. There was another problem too, the eagles, coyotes, and a fisher had cleaned the deer carcass I had been trapping over, the rib cage lay there with no flesh left on the bones. There is a NY State Department of Transportation office close by on the mainland, frequently they pick up road killed deer. As luck would have it, when I checked with them they knew of a recent road kill entirely intact and offered to take me to it and even help load it!

About an hour after my first trip into the trap site I had everything set up and ready to go, and I was settled in the blind, waiting. Outside the temperature continued to rise, and the ice melted. I knew it would be my last chance this year, and vowed to stay until sunset, or until I captured an eagle. During the day two adult eagles and one first year eagle visited the trap site, and I watched as a raven cached some of the venison in the burreed growing along the edge of the mudflat. My patience was rewarded at about 5:00 PM. An adult flew down on the carcass and displaced the feeding immature. I allowed it to feed for about 5-10 minutes, and then I shot the net and finished out the season with a second adult capture. I am anxious to follow the movements of these two new eagles.